Monday, June 29, 2009

Multiple Logbooks on one iPhone

Sometimes software applications have features that you don't even know exist. And sometimes you know they exist but you can't remember how to use them and don't want to take the time to look it up in the documentation. Well iPhone applications are intuitively obvious to figure out ..... right? Right.

But just in case it's not intuitively obvious, here's a quick look at how to keep more than one users logbook on the same iPhone. (Just to be clear up front though - we don't advocate depending on this feature at all. No one should be deprived and everyone should have their own personal iDevice to use and covet and play with and be productive with. We only added this feature so that you could still log your dives if your buddies iDevice was dropped in the water or broken while diving.) (;-)

First, under the "More" tab, there is a Personal item in the table. If you select this to go to the Personal screen, you will see the name of the person that the current Logbook belongs to. If there is nothing there, then you'll want to edit the information so that your name *does* show up there. This is the name that will be used to identify your logbook. (See previous Blog post).

To change Logbooks, or add a new Logbook, we again go back to the "More" tab, and now look for and select "Settings". The first item in the list is the "Active Logbook" and it will be named the same as the name listed in the Personal section. If you select the item, you will see a screen that allows you to manage Logbooks. All of the currently available Logbooks will be listed and the top one is the Logbook currently in use. To select a new Logbook, simply select it in the displayed list and it will be loaded. To add a new Logbook, touch the "+" sign in the upper right hand corner and you will be prompted for a name to use for your newly created Logbook.

When you backup your device using iTunes, all of the data associated with Dive Log is backed up and so all of the Logbooks contained on your iDevice will be saved as part of the backup. The desktop Logbook synchronization software however (both on Mac and PC), work with one Logbook at a time, ie: your "currently loaded" Logbook. So make sure you know which one is loaded before transferring back and forth. If you want to back up/synchronize "all" of the Dive Log Logbooks onto your desktop, you will need to transfer the first one, switch to the other Logbook in Dive Log, and then do another transfer to the Desktop.

It really is easy to manage. But not as easy as just buying another iPhone ...... ;-)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Personalize your Logbook

Remember when you first got certified, and you opened your lovely paper logbook to the first page so that you could enter your name and say "This logbook belongs to ....". That way you knew that should it be misplaced, it would have a chance of finding you again. It was a place you could track your training and certifications and gaze upon your long scuba diving journey. It was also a place that everyone *else* knew to look to find out information about you in an emergency. Well where does that information go in Dive Log for iPhone?

We're glad you asked. If you touch the "More" tab on the bottom right of the screen, one of the items listed in the table is "Personal". If you go into that screen, you can enter a bunch of personal information about yourself. If you are not "inclined" that way, we understand. But we suggest that you at a minimum, enter the name of the person that the dives in the logbook are for. We use this name in multiple logbook support and if you ever want to have multiple logbooks on your device, this will make them easier to manage.

Also under the personal information is a place to add the usual contact information such as address, phone number and email address. Under the "Medical Information" screen, you can enter your birthdate, date of last medical, and your blood type. While this is all information that you might think is too private, or that you have listed in other places at home, this could be vital information about you that others may want in an emergency. Having it in one place where *someone else* can look it up will make it easier for everyone. And of course it goes without saying that your Emergency Contact information and notes is a necessary part of diving. If you don't wear your medic alert bracelet or there is other medical information like that, (you get the idea), this would be the place to put it. The third item on the list is just "Notes" and this is a general text area where you can put information about yourself that you think is appropriate. Like, "if something happens to me, make sure the dogs get let out and fed".

The last section is a neat feature that you can use to keep your certification information. If you have nothing entered yet, you will see just a button "Add New Certification". Here you can enter information from your "C" cards and then also take a picture of the front and back of the card. How many times have you gone on a trip and forgot to bring your Nitrox card? Just enter the info into the screens and take a picture and show that to the live aboard crew. (And your cool factor will rise substantially). Just touch the "Front" and "Back" tabs and you will be prompted to use an existing picture in your Camera Roll, or just use the builtin camera if you have an iPhone to take a picture of the front and back of the card itself. Need to be an "Advanced" diver to go on the dive? Don't happen to carry your "C" cards around with you in your wallet everyday? Are you *not* the kind of person that has the accordion pack of plastic card protectors of "C" cards? Neither are we. This is the modern age - take a picture! It lasts longer.

The personal information in your Dive Log for iPhone and iPod Touch will keep some of that scattered information you need when diving, all in one place.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

We think we had fun.

We were in San Francisco so we must have had fun right? Just spent a whirlwind week at WWDC with the rest of the party faithful getting a big dose of Apple "juice" to last us for another year. Lots of new technologies introduced in 3.0 that we hope to incorporate into Dive Log, as well as some that are just plain interesting. If only there was more time in each day to get things done! A busy week but it was great to be one of the 5200 engineers there and see the tide of development going on. Although we tend to lean to the pessimistic side of life, we were pleasantly surprised at the depth of knowledge and genuine helpfulness displayed by all the Apple presenters.

By this time, you've probably heard the sound bites on the new Mac Laptops and their price decreases, the new iPhone 3GS, and the new 3.0 OS version. This latter item affects More Mobile Software customers the most. We have actively been testing our apps on the beta versions of the OS and all of our apps are working fine so you shouldn't run into any problems if you upgrade your phone.

The developer "seed", (the "final" version that we developers use to test our apps with first), came out on announcement day, June 8th. We were among the throng of developers downloading it as soon as possible and installing it on our development machines to double and triple check that no new bugs were introduced that might effect the iPhone apps. The new OS will be released to existing iPhone customers on June 17th, and the new iPhone (with the 3.0OS) will be released on June 19th. So we anticipate many of our customers will upgrade soon and expect it to be seamless as far as Dive Log, Nitrox Tools, and Trimix Tools are concerned. And any new customers will not see any problems either.

Stay tuned for new versions of Dive Log though that may take advantage of the great new technologies!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

All. That. Jazz.

We have 3 applications in the app store now, all of which have been updated at least couple of times. So it seems like a "better late than never" time to start talking about them! And we'd also appreciate it if you were to talk back to us - please let us know what you like, don't like, and what enhancements you'd like to see. Or, share your idea for the next great scuba diving iPhone app. Whisper in our ear if you want - we won't tell.

Stay tuned here for information about upcoming announcements, tutorials, and all that jazz .....